Well known for his sketches, paintings, and sculptures of the Old West, Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) was also an accomplished author in the humorous genre known as "local color." Raphael Cristy sorts Russell's writings into four general categories: serious Indian stories, men encountering wildlife, cattle range characters, and nineteenth-century westerners facing twentieth-century challenges.
Russell's art is often misinterpreted as mere longing for a fading open-range west, but his writings tell a different story. Cristy shows how Russell amused his peers with stories that also delivered sharp observations of Euro-American suppression of Indians and humorous treatment of wilderness and range issues plus the emergence of women and urbanization as bewildering agents of change in the modern West.
"A welcome departure from the usual biographies and coffee table volumes on Russell and his art. . . . [Cristy] deals with an important, yet relatively unexplored, aspect of the career of one of the most influential interpreters of the American West."--Byron Price, Director, C. M. Russell Center for the Study of Art
Raphael James Cristy of Albuquerque received his bachelor's degree in English literature at Stanford, an master's degree in American history at the University of Montana, and a doctorate in American history at the University of New Mexico. He has performed ""Charlie Russell's Yarns"" since 1976 in a variety of venues: the Northern Appalachian Storytelling Festival in Pennsylvania, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, the Palm Springs Desert Arts Museum, Michael Martin Murphy's WESTFEST, the Fringe Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, and Australia's Festival of Sydney.